The results are in and electric bicycle sales are positively booming. Many electric bicycle companies are reporting record-breaking e-bike sales. But with electric bicycles ranging from budget e-bikes priced at a few hundred dollars to high-end brands costing many thousands of dollars, where does that leave budget-minded consumers that still want to find a quality e-bike? Here we’ve compiled 2020’s top five sub-$1,000 electric bicycles that we’ve tested so far.
First though, here’s an important note about buying inexpensive e-bikes:
There are plenty of cheap e-bikes on the market. We’ve seen them pop up on Amazon for under $400 before.
But at such low prices, quality and safety are usually the first compromises to be made.
While we all want to get a great deal, there’s certainly such a thing as an e-bike that is too cheap.
For that reason, the e-bikes included in this list aren’t necessarily the cheapest e-bikes we’ve tested, but rather the cheapest that we’ve tested and can happily recommend. While each of the e-bikes on this list certainly leaves us wanting more in some departments (often lacking extra features or creature comforts found on higher-end bikes), they are all safe and well-made e-bikes that we’ve enjoyed testing and would recommend to our friends.
Top 5 affordable electric bikes video
To see all of these affordable electric bicycles in action, check out the video below. Then read on for the details on each bike.
Lectric XP folding fat tire e-bike ($899)
The Lectric XP isn’t your standard folding electric bike. Not only does this one have extra-wide tires, but it can also hit a top speed of 28 mph (45 km/h).
There’s no suspension on this bike, but the fat tires do help to ease the load on bumps. And it comes with racks, fenders, a headlight and other niceties not often seen on budget electric bikes.
The battery isn’t huge, coming in at around 500 Wh. But that should still get you at least 25 miles (40 km) of range on throttle-only riding, or nearly twice that with pedal assist.
At 59 lb (26.7 kg), the Lectric XP isn’t quite as heavy as it looks, but it isn’t light either. The folding feature will at least help you squeeze it into a trunk or a backseat though!
Swagtron EB12 ($999)
The Swagtron EB12 looks like a straight-up hipster fixie, but it’s actually hiding a 250 W motor as well as both pedal assist and a thumb throttle. There’s even a Shimano 7-speed transmission.
The bike has a rear rack that holds a slim battery pack but can still be used for hauling cargo as well. That rack is just begging for a basket or box to be strapped onto it and loaded full of groceries.
The 16 mph (25 km/h) top speed isn’t the fastest I’ve ever seen on an e-bike, but it’s not the slowest either! And at just 39 lb (17.8 kg), the EB12 is easy to pick up and carry around or up a flight of stairs.
And the battery is good for 28 miles (45 km) of range, though if you’re using throttle-only then you might come up a tad short on that figure.
Schwinn EC1 cruiser e-bike ($898)
There’s something timeless about a Schwinn cruiser bicycle, right? Well, this one has a slightly more modern update in the form of electric assist. There’s no throttle on the Schwinn EC1, but you can pedal to your heart’s content and enjoy the pedal-assist boost up to 20 mph (32 km/h).
With 30 miles (50 km) of range and a comfortable cruiser saddle, you can practically ride all day on this one.
For just $898, it’s a steal of a deal for a pretty e-bike from a classic bicycle company. Make sure to check out our full review of the Schwinn EC1, or head over to Walmart’s site where you can order the Schwinn EC1 online.
Propella V3.2 Single Speed ($999)
This is another one that just barely squeezes in under $1k, and we’re glad it did because it certainly belongs on this list. The Propella V3.2 Single Speed e-bike is a beautiful bike that is easy to ride. There’s no throttle, which means you’ll have to provide your own pedaling. But the pedal assist will help you cruise up to around 18 mph (30 km/h).
The battery matches the elegant blue of the rims and is large enough to provide up to 40 miles (64 km) of range in the lowest power setting, or closer to 20 miles of range in the highest power setting. The thin tires make it easy to pedal though, so you’ll likely feel comfortable using less electric-assist than you might be used to.
There’s also a 7-speed version of this bike, but it adds a couple of hundred dollars to the price so it didn’t make this list. Check out our full review of the Propella V3.2 Single Speed e-bike here or head on over to Propella’s website to pick up your own for $999.
Swagtron EB7 Plus ($699)
Yep, another Swagtron made the list. And while the EB12 above could fit just about anyone, I must admit that the Swagtron EB7 Plus here is a smaller bike and probably won’t be the most comfortable option for anyone above around 5’11”.
So while that might rule out a good-sized chunk of the population, this is a fun e-bike for the rest of us! It’s actually got a 7-speed Shimano transmission, headlight, lockable battery and even rear suspension! It’s not great suspension, but its certainly better than no suspension at all. I did a few curb hops on the bike and it made a difference in ride comfort.
The 230 Wh battery isn’t huge, so don’t expect more than 20 miles of range on pedal-assist or half of that with the throttle. And regarding pedaling, the size of the wheels and chainring mean that you can’t really pedal faster than around 12 mph (20 km/h), but you can still throttle up to 18 mph (30 km/h).
Basically, this is a good city e-bike for someone who wants the convenience of a scooter but the sit-down comfort and safety of an e-bike. It’s not as nice of a ride as some other e-bikes on this list, but it’s also just $699!
Honorable mention: Ride1Up 500 Series ($1,099)
Alright, so this one isn’t under $1,000. But it’s such a good value and is so close to the cutoff that we’ve included it as an extra honorable mention.
The Ride1Up 500 Series e-bike can get you up to 25 mph (40 km/h), which makes it almost as fast as the Lectric XP above, but is perhaps more comfortable for some riders who prefer a full-size bicycle frame.
The components are surprisingly good for a $1,099 e-bike and this would make a solid choice for anyone’s first e-bike.
That’s all, folks
And that’s it! Those are our picks for the best e-bikes under $1,000. Again, these aren’t the best, shining examples of high-quality e-bikes. But they’re also decent, well-made e-bikes that will get you where you’re going without breaking the bank. And sometimes when your budget is the limit, that’s all you need!
Let us know in the comments below what other budget e-bikes you think we missed or that we should try to review next.
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